Give the gift of life

If you are healthy and eligible, I recommend you to become a blood donor or platelet donor.

There is a dire shortage of blood donors, especially platelet donors.

I have been doing this for decades, when I lived in the Netherlands, and more recently, after I immigrated to the US.

For many years, the US rules prevented me from donating (mad cow disease rampaging over Europe in the 80s and 90s). The CDC recently relaxed the rules, and now I can donate again.

It’s not convenient, it takes about 3 hours for a platelet donation. The techs check your vitals (blood pressure, hemoglobin, weight, etc.). Then they put up on a bed, stick needles in your arms, and you’re stuck for the next 2 hours or so. Your blood comes out of one arm, goes into a machine which extracts platelets and plasma, and goes back into the other arm. You’re totally immobile during the process. You move your arm, and you mess it up. Hurts too.

But it’s a way to catch up on favorite Netflix shows.

Most importantly there are cancer and hemophilia patients who constantly need platelets. Some of them very young, kids. You save their lives.

Because it is so inconvenient, less than 1% of blood donors want to donate platelets.

I’ve learned from experience to listen to advice and not drink alcohol after donating blood. Or do if you want a really cheap and very short evening on the tiles. :slight_smile:

Prior to Covid I donated blood 2 or 3 times a year, never did the platelet thing though.

Haven’t donated since Covid, but should get back to it since I’m B- and that’s considered pretty rare.

That doesn’t affect me, really, but everything in moderation.

I do tend to get a little cold while hooked up to the machine though, but they have blankets for that.